Table Tennis - Terms


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Many terms are used in a table tennis game to describe points, fouls, etc. A list of some of the frequently used terms is given below.

  • Heavy − Used to describe a strong spin.

  • Blade − Wooden part of the racquet.

  • Anti-spin − A defense spin used to confuse the opponent or even as a reaction to one strong spin. Top-level players rarely use this technique, but it is very famous among amateurs. Player uses the pimpled side of rubber of racquet.

  • Inverted rubber − Smooth side of rubber which is used to play and the pimpled side is glued to bat. The smooth side gives more spin as there is a larger contact area.

  • Pimples (Pips) − Rubber side of the racquet that gives different spin effects unlike inverted rubber. There is no much contact surface on this side of the racquet.

  • Crossover − Change of stroke from forehand to backhand. A player needs to change his/her stroke as this is often an easy target for attack. It is not easy to return a service in this area.

  • Tight − A strong return which is difficult for the opponent to handle. It is usually a combination of spin and strong stroke.

  • Loose − A weak return that has insufficient spin or stroke or both, and is easy for the opponent to play.

  • Early − This is to refer raising of ball.

  • Late − The fall of ball’s bounce.

  • Loop − A strong stroke that usually overpowers the spin of the incoming ball.

  • Multi-ball − A ball robot or another player continuously feeds another player in training. This method is used to reduce time waste.

  • Penhold − This is a style used to hold the paddle. This resembles t-holding a pen.

  • Shakehand − Holding the paddle with index finger perpendicular to handle. This is the most common way of holding the racquet and it resembles holding of racquet in tennis.

  • Sandwich rubber − This is to describe inverted rubber with sponge.

  • Speed glue − As the name, it is a glue with high volatile solvents, used to glue sponge of rubber to the blade (the wooden part of racquet). It increases the speed of stroke.

  • Third ball − This is a stroke that’s hit by server in response to the opponent’s stroke after serve. This is the first attacking stroke in table tennis rally.

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